Meet The Team
The Gapforce Family
We are proud to be a closely-knit team, based both in our UK office and across the globe. Our staff are the foundation and sacred portals of knowledge that allow us to build and offer truly unique gap year programs. The faces you see below are the magnificent team that ensure our participants have unique and empowering adventures on their gap year and volunteering programs
World-class Expedition Leaders
Outside our main headquarters in London, England, most of our staff are based across the world in a variety of our gap year destinations. Being based in the very countries that our programs run from means our staff have an unparalleled local knowledge and are consequently able to continually develop the programs through regular communication with our UK support team. These exceptional international staff members are paramount to the success of our programs and the ability for our programs to make a real impact through sustainable volunteering and marine conservation.
Our Expedition Leaders have been rigorously trained directly from the ground-up (literally!) in safety, group education, wilderness survival and so much more. This truly makes them the best outdoor experts for our gap year adventures and group programs. Our Expedition Leaders are of the highest standards, and quite simply incredible at what they do; with them, our participants continue to have the ultimate experiences on our trips.
Your London Advisor Team
James took his own gap year and travelled extensively throughout Australia, before graduating from the University of Bristol and starting an extensive career in adventure travel. James joined Gapforce in 2009 and has enjoyed watching the company grow. James is a keen runner and his dream destination is South Africa!
NickAdvisor - USA
Nick joined Gapforce in October of 2013 as a gap year advisor. Born and raised in Baltimore, Nick now lives in Chicago and heads up our team in the USA. Nick loves to talk travel, and recalls his favourite trip throughout South Africa, including the mother city, Cape Town.
MareenAdvisor - Europe
Mareen decided travelling had to become a big part of her life after travelling for the first time at the age of 14 - joining an organized bus trip and heading to Nice. 14 years later, Mareen found herself falling in love with the other side of the world, whilst spending time in New Zealand. The top places on her bucket list include South America, Canada and the Northern Polar Lights!
Aaron got the travel bug at 16 when he went to Venezuela and hasn’t looked back since! He’s been to 27 other countries since then, inspiring a real passion for helping other people start their journey into ecotourism. He’s lived and worked abroad for the last four years, and when he’s not travelling he’s usually either working on a photography project or planning his next adventure.
Lelde, born and raised in Latvia, has always had the passion for travel. While pursuing her finance and management degree from Loughborough University, she travelled extensively around the world and embarked on her first mountaineering expeditions. While mountains is her destination of choice, she enjoys exploring rivers, jungles, oceans and cities as well.
Mike first developed a passion for travel while heading out to volunteer in South Africa at age 16. This taught him at an early age the importance of experiential education for young people around the world. He has since lived, worked and volunteered abroad, including South America, Africa, Asia and Europe. When Mike is not traveling, he can be found training at the gym or doing Yoga.
Dr RajMedical and Safety
Raj is one of a select few individuals that has successfully climbed, unguided, the highest mountain on every continent in the world. It is because of this that Raj is our consultant doctor, allowing us to provide the highest level of safety and medical support. Raj has operated in some of the most inhospitable places imaginable from mountain, desert, polar and jungle environments, right through to warzones.
Marcus Watts has been at the forefront of Gap year safety. He has been an active member of the Youth Explorers Trust, a member of the Year Out Group, the UK regulator and elected Chair of the Year Out Group. He has also been elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, for services to exploration.
ColinExpedition Leader Trainer - UK & Overseas
JadeExpedition Leader Trainer - UK & Overseas
Elliot SwinneyExpedition Leader
Matt SmithExpedition Leader
SevExpedition Leader - Ski
JamesPartner - West Africa
LeoPartner - Thailand
RajPartner – Nepal
Put Your Name HereBecome an Expedition Leader
Do you want to become an Expedition Leader, travel the world and lead amazing adventure travel groups? Click here to find out what it involves and whether you're up for the challenge!Find Out More